Q: Hey, Sinclair! If it’s so hot outside, why is my air conditioner icing up?
A: If you’re seeing ice on the copper lines that go outside, or if you’re seeing water around the furnace and the system is running, turn off the outside unit. But on your thermostat, switch the fan to “on”. Let the blower fan run for an hour or two. This will allow the ice or frost to melt.
Then turn the AC unit back on for a few minutes. The copper line at the outdoor unit should be cold. You should also see some condensation forming. If it’s not cold, or if you see frost starting to show up on the line again it may be a refrigerant issue. Call Sinclair right away. We’ll inspect your system. If it’s a coolant issue, we can take care of it.
Q: Hey, Sinclair! We are upgrading our heating and cooling system. Should I consider installing a programmable thermostat?
A: Programmable thermostats are wonderful energy saving devices. For example, you simply program a slightly higher temperature while you are away at work and school during the day. Then you program it to adjust to a bit lower temperature right before you come home for the day. You’re not spending energy dollars cooling a “people free” house, yet you’re not waiting a long time for the house to cool down after you get home. It really is the convenience that our great grandparents read about in science magazines back in the day.
Q: Hey, Sinclair! I’m going away on vacation. Is there anything I should be thinking about when it comes to my air conditioning while I’m gone?
A: Years ago when I lived in Phoenix, I left for a week of much needed vacation. When I returned, I walked into a house that was 99 degrees. The blower fan had gone out while I was away. The candles on the piano melted. They looked like something out of an abstract painting.
If you’re leaving on a trip, don’t turn your thermostat up too high thinking you’ll save money. A too high temperature inside the house makes other appliances like refrigerators and freezers work harder. Just set it no higher than 78 to 80 degrees.
Also, though it sounds contrary, a full refrigerator and a full freezer actually make your appliance more efficient. The critical mass of frozen and cool food means there is less air to keep cool, thus your refrigerator/freezer will run less while maintaining the same temperature.
Finally, take a walk around the inside and outside of your house looking for obvious things. Make sure doors and windows are closed and locked. Make sure all faucets and water hoses are turned off. Unplug any electronics like TV, sound systems and computers.